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Trumpet Lessons

Now he’s cold and he doesn’t believe it and he’s crying.

Later there would be long mornings of playing in the sandbox and a pretty horrible memory that had something to do with a neighbor’s dog that had come off its leash, then a huge collection of matchboxes, one would even come from Japan, and years of trumpet lessons and a gymnastics class as well and the time everybody laughed at him because he fell off the rings and a long walk to the municipal library twice a week. Then he’d buy a basketball with money he’d saved and there’d be a long trip to Eilat and Yael, and later there’d be good grades on his report card and Mira and the fistfight with Udi and long hours of reading and thoughts and cold and fear, and Naomi would come and military service and the time he was confined to base and his discharge and a car accident on the corner of Allenby and King George.

Later Ruth would come and disappointment would come with her and an extended overseas trip and long hair and another fistfight, this time with a Guy somebody from Jerusalem. Then there’d be exams and a degree and a résumé and a rented apartment and a neighborhood pub and the girl next door and an idea and a small house with a small yard and payments and another Naomi would come, this time to stay, and some time later, the idea would take shape and a wedding in a forest clearing with no catering and a book would be published and a whole year of traveling in Norway with Naomi in a thick, blue sweater he’d never forget and TV shows and an interview for the newspaper and drawn-out Fridays and a dull pain and Dr. Dolev with his pallid face and one malignant disease and a motorbike with a yellow sidecar and an unsuccessful attempt to play the trumpet again.

But all that would come later.

Now he’s cold and he doesn’t believe it and he’s crying.

Mom’s beside him, Gerber stains on the embroidered bib.

Copyright Yoav Avni. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2010 by Margalit Rodgers. All rights reserved.